Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Hollywood Sign hike probably not worth the effort ...

THE Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles might seem like an attractive hiking destination. However, be warned! There are lots of inaccurate directions and plain wrong hiking lengths on various Internet sites out there about such a hike.
Also, you can't actually hike to the sign, you end up just above it and to the side -- not an appealing photo angle or ideal destination.
In addition, fairly often it seems like either fog or smog -- or both -- may significantly hamper views during a Hollywood Sign hike.
The day I was in the area (August 2016), it took until late morning before the smog/haze burned off enough to even see the Hollywood sign clearly from the Griffith Observatory..
I HAVEN'T actually hiked to the sign. I wanted to, but was curtailed by totally wrong hiking information on several slick, seemingly accurate Web sites. They appeared very reliable, but when I arrived in the actual starting area, it was plain to see they were plain bogus.
What I had read was that it was only 1.5 miles one-way to the sign and that the Griffith Observatory parking lot was the best trailhead, 
As it turns out in fact, the distance from the parking lot at the Observatory is almost 4 miles away or over 7 miles roundtrip. (see official sign below as proof.)

-There apparently is in a residential neighborhood under the sign, a starting point where it actually is just 1.5 mile of a one-way hike to get an off angle view just above the sign. The problem with this:  you have to be hiking super early (by 6 a.m. or so) in the morning and your vehicle gone by 8 A.M. OFF THAT STREET  to avoid a parking fine.
Given the fog or haze early in the morning for many days a year, this is also not an ideal situation either.
--Personally, I'd just drive to the Griffith Observatory and enjoy that view from the grounds. (However, some music events in the area can jam pack the Observatory road some evenings.)

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